How to Forgive

We must put aside all resentment The decision to forgive another person a wrong done to us begins when we decide to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. To forgive someone does not mean that we forget what they did to us, for this may be impossible. The memory of the hurt might always remain with you, but…

Mystery of Mysteries

The Holy Eucharist is the Mystery of Mysteries The Holy Eucharist is the source of our sacramental life within the Church of Christ precisely because through the Eucharist we are joined to Christ crucified, and to His holy resurrection and ascension. It is through this Holy Mystery of the Eucharist that we are joined to the uncreated and divine grace…

Salvation

More than acquittal and justification Salvation can not be explained in legalistic terms of acquittal and justification, for salvation is much more than simply being forgiven and getting into heaven. The close tie between faith and works, when it comes to the Orthodox view of salvation, is not about being “saved” by our works, for this is impossible. Works do…

Submitting

Do we think ourselves wiser than the Church? In an age of unbelief it can be a struggle to submit to the laws of the Church. When the society around us regards the Church’s laws and traditions unfavorably, we can easily give in to thinking the same thing, and disregard the canons and statutes of the Church of Christ. If…

My Garden

Cultivating my own garden I teeter on the edge if I let myself be concerned about my neighbor’s garden rather than focusing on the cultivation of my own garden. Judging another person’s spiritual life is one of the most dangerous things we can do, for judging another distracts us from fully living a life of repentance. The importance of this…

The Two Great Commandments

“Love thy God with all your heart, mind…” and secondly, “Love thy neighbor…” We live in a world bombarded with thousands of messages, some subtle and some not-so-subtle, of merchandising that impact the way we interact with others, and the way we relate to God. Much of what we glean from these messages is narcissistic in nature, estranging us from…

Divine Warmth

The Divine Flame will consume you At the very first moment you decide to turn to God, your heart begins to be warmed by the action of the Holy Spirit. Your heart is kindled with the divine flame that will transform you. This flame will consume you completely, and will melt everything of a fallen nature within you. Once this…

Orthodoxy and Beauty

Orthodox Christianity attracted me from my very first encounter with the magnificence of its churches and the grandeur of her divine services. Having grown up amid the natural beauty of Northern Idaho, with mountains and lakes that could take our breath away, I’d previously found inspiration primarily in the world of nature. Orthodoxy and beauty are inseparable because God and…

Imparting Our Faith

Imparting happiness and true joy, grounded in Orthodoxy As a former teacher I can still remember, with great fondness, many of my students. Although I loved them all, I did have my favorites, especially those who challenged me with their inquisitive minds. These students kept me on my toes, and forced me to be fully prepared for each class. They…

Greater Virtue

The great virtue of forgiving our enemies There is the story of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus who invited Hilarion the Great to dinner, and in order to show his hospitality place fried chicken on the table. Hilarion, when he saw the fried chicken, asked forgiveness, but said he had not eaten meat since his tonsure as a monk. Saint Epiphanius…

Microcosm

Humankind is a microcosm of the universe It has been said that humans are a microcosm of the whole universe because we have within ourselves the entire material world, and with it the noetic powers of the cosmos. Created as we were for immortality, it is our fallen nature that has separated us from that which God had intended. When…

Blessed Dimitry

Blessed Dimitry of Santa Rosa, and the Island of my salvation Following my return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos, we were faced with mounting bills, rising rent costs, little income, and my personal desire to return to Mt. Athos to continue my monastic struggle. I went so far as to ask a blessing from my spiritual father,…